As the Jets celebrated the start of another season with their annual kickoff luncheon at Cipriani Wall Street, the organization's thoughts turned to the people of southeast Texas. Harvey, initially a hurricane and now a tropical storm, continues to pound the Houston area with thousands displaced and many still searching for loved ones.
During today's luncheon, Jets CEO Christopher Johnson announced a $1M donation to the Red Cross for hurricane relief efforts.
"Today is about community. It's about service," he said. "I want to acknowledge that there is a community that is suffering mightily right now. It's Houston and it's Texas. I want to announce that the Jets and the Johnson family are pledging $1 million to the Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund."
While Jets P Lachlan Edwards is an Australian who attended Sam Houston State, QB Josh McCown is a native Texan who also is a SHSU alum.
"We all go through different things and I'm looking at a man push his two kids in an upside down refrigerator as its floating," he told reporters Monday. "I see that picture and I'm like, 'Man, I get to come practice today.' That's the hardest thing I'm going to do today is go out to a football practice. So there are people who are dealing with real life issues."
More than 19 storm-related deaths have been reported including Sgt. Steve Perez, who died while driving to work in order to serve the people of Houston. Texas Gov. Greg Abbot called Harvey, which has dropped close to 50 inches of rain and has water levels continuing to rise, one of the largest disasters the country has ever faced.
The Jets raised $650,000 today's event and all proceeds will go to the team's foundation and the Lupus Research Alliance. The latter is the world's largest private funder of lupus research, totaling over $106M to date.